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Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle

Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: Well may you, sir,
Remember me at court, where I was taught
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference
'Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quench'd
Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain
'Gan in your duller Britain operate
Most vilely; for my vantage, excellent;
And, to be brief, my practice so prevail'd,
That I return'd with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad,

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By wounding his belief in her renown
With tokens thus, and thus; averring notes
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet,
(O, cunning, how I got it!) nay, some marks
Of secret on her person, that he could not
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd,
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon,-
Methinks, I see him now,-


Ay, so thou dost,
[Coming forward.

Italian fiend!—Ah me, most credulous fool,

Egregious murderer, thief, any thing

That's due to all the villains past, in being,
To come!-O, give me cord, or knife, or poison,
Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out
For torturers ingenious: it is I

5 ―a CARBUNCLE, &c.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra : "He has deserved it, were it carbuncled

"Like Phæbus car." STEEVENS.

6 averring notes-] Such marks of the chamber and pictures, as averred or confirmed my report. JOHNSON.

7 Some upright JUSTICER!] I meet with this antiquated word in The Tragedy of Darius, 1603:

That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend,
By being worse than they. I am Posthúmus,
That kill'd thy daughter:-villain-like, I lie;
That caus'd a lesser villain than myself,
A sacrilegious thief, to do't :-the temple
Of virtue was she; yea, and she herself,
Spit, and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set
The dogs o' the street to bay me: every villain
Be call'd, Posthúmus Leonatus; and

Be villainy less than 'twas!-O Imogen !
My queen, my life, my wife! O Imogen,
Imogen, Imogen!


Peace, my lord; hear, hear—

POST. Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful

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You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now :-Help, help!

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this day,

"Th' eternal justicer sees through the stars."

Again in Law Tricks, &c. 1608:

"No: we must have an upright justicer."

Again in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, b. x. ch. liv:


Precelling his progenitors, a justicer upright.


Justicer is used by Shakspeare thrice in King Lear. HENLEY. The most ancient law books have justicers of the peace, as frequently as justices of the peace. REED.


and she herself.] That is,-She was not only the temple of virtue, but virtue herself. JOHNSON.

9 - these staggers-] This wild and delirious perturbation. Staggers is the horse's apoplexy. JOHNSON.

CYM. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike


To death with mortal joy.


How fares my mistress?

IMO. O, get thee from my sight;

Thou gav'st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence! Breathe not where princes are.


PIs. Lady,

The tune of Imogen!

The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
That box I gave you was not thought by me
A precious thing; I had it from the queen.
CYM. New matter still?



It poison'd me.

O Gods!

I left out one thing which the queen confess'd, Which must approve thee honest: If Pisanio Have, said she, given his mistress that confection Which I gave him for a cordial, she is serv'd

As I would serve a rat.

COR. The queen, sir, very oft impórtun'd me
To temper poisons for her; still pretending
The satisfaction of her knowledge, only
In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs
Of no esteem: I, dreading that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease
The present power of life; but, in short time,
All offices of nature should again

What's this, Cornelius ?

Do their due functions.-Have you ta'en of it?
IMO. Most like I did, for I was dead.

There was our error.


This is sure, Fidele.

My boys,

IMO. Why did you throw your wedded lady from


Think, that you are upon a rock1; and now

Throw me again.


Till the tree die!


[Embracing him.

Hang there like fruit, my soul,

How now, my flesh, my child?

What, mak'st thou me a dullard 2 in this act?
Wilt thou not speak to me?


Your blessing, sir.


BEL. Though you did love this youth, I blame

ye not;

You had a motive for't.

[To GUIDERIUS and Arviragus.

'Think, that you are upon a rock ;] In this speech or in the answer, there is little meaning. I suppose she would say,-Consider such another act as equally fatal to me with precipitation from a rock, and now let me see whether you will repeat it.


Perhaps only a stage direction is wanting to clear this passage from obscurity. Imogen first upbraids her husband for the violent treatment she had just experienced; then confident of the return of passion which she knew must succeed to the discovery of her innocence, the poet might have meant her to rush into his arms, and while she clung about him fast, to dare to throw her off a second time, lest that precipitation should prove as fatal to them both, as if the place where they stood had been a rock. To which he replies hang there, i. e. round my neck, till the frame that now supports you shall decay.

Though the speeches that follow are necessary to the complete evolution of our author's plot, the interest of the drama may be said to conclude with the re-union of Posthumus and Imogen:


Fœdus, et intrepidos nox conscia jungit amantes. In defence of this remark, I may subjoin, that both Aristarchus, and Aristophanes the grammarian, were of opinion that the Odyssey should have concluded when Ulysses and Penelope

Ασπάσιοι λέκτροιο παλαιό θεσμὸν ἴκοντο.


2 -a DULLARD -] In this place means a person stupidly unconcerned. So, in Histriomastix, or the Player whipt, 1610:

"What dullard! would'st thou doat in rusty art?" Again, Stanyhurst in his version of the first book of Virgil, 1582: "We Moores, lyke dullards, are not so wytles abyding."



My tears, that fall,
Prove holy water on thee! Imogen,
Thy mother's dead.


I am sorry for't, my lord.

CYм. O, she was naught; and 'long of her it


That we meet here so strangely: But her son
Is gone, we know not how, nor where.

My lord,
Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord Cloten,
Upon my lady's missing, came to me

With his sword drawn; foam'd at the mouth, and


If I discover'd not which way she was gone,
It was my instant death: By accident,
I had a feigned letter of my master's
Then in my pocket; which directed him

To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;
Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments,
Which he inforc'd from me, away he posts
With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
My lady's honour: what became of him,

I further know not.


I slew him there.


Let me end the story:

Marry, the gods forfend!

I would not thy good deeds should from my lips
Pluck a hard sentence: pr'ythee, valiant youth,
Deny't again.

I have spoke it, and I did it.

CYM. He was a prince.

GUI. A most uncivil one: The wrongs he did


Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me With language that would make me spurn the


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